Thursday, July 15, 2010
Save Our Beaches
I have been trying to think of some eloquent way to express the devastation of our beautiful Gulf of Mexico. I just can't do it. It has been hard to pay too close attention to what is going on in our region. It makes me angry, yes, but mostly it makes me sad. Along the stretch of the Gulf from Dauphin Island to Apalachicola are the prettiest beaches I've ever seen. They are being destroyed by carelessness and greed. Our children may likely never know what it means to spend the summer at the Gulf. Perhaps I am being dramatic. I hope so. I hope so for my family's sake, but even more for the people who life full-time at the Gulf, who feed their families with work and fish from the Gulf, who live off the tourism of the Gulf. There is a lot of suffering going on along the coast right now. Dolphins, herons, charter boat captains. Everyone down there is affect by this oil spill. Every one. Every creature.
Most of the parking lots at all the local and state beaches are full of tour buses bring workers in, tents with air conditioning being pumped in, tractors and other equipment, moving trucks. There are booms or layers of booms at all mouths. Boats of usually three workers can be seen at regular intervals. I am not sure what they do, whether they are testing or cleaning, but they can be seen at all the beaches now, tooling around in the water. The boat ramps are closed to the public so they can handle marine recovery traffic. The boat ramp nearest where we stay has been turned into a boat cleaning station.
We spent our Fourth at the beach. There were other people that went down too but there were not the usual crowds. We had to drive about 20 miles so the children could get into some bay water to play. All the water in our area is closed to swimming. We had a good time but it wasn't quite the same. Again, as sad as I am for us, I am even more heartbroken for the communities along the Gulf, their residents and their creatures.
All the flags are flying at half mast for the tragedy that has been inflicted upon the Gulf.
This picture below is of one of the many booms that have been placed in the water.
I like this poem because it illustrates our interconnectedness.
The Fish by Mary Oliver
The first fish
I ever caught
would not lie down
quiet in the pail
but flailed and sucked
at the burning
amazement of the air
in the slow pouring off
of rainbows. Later
I opened his body and separated
the flesh from the bones
and ate him. Now the sea
is in me: I am the fish, the fish
glitters in me; we are
risen, tangled together, certain to fall
back to the sea. Out of pain,
and pain, and more pain
we feed this feverish plot, we are nourished
by the mystery.